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'Champion' Christian singer comes to Connersville

Carman will bring his Legacy Tour of contemporary Chirstian music to Connersville Living Waters Church Saturday.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

One of the biggest names in contemporary Christian music will sing here Saturday evening.

The artist is known simply by his first name, Carman.

Carman Domenic Licciardello will bring his 42-city Legacy Tour to Living Waters Church, 380 Veterans Memorial Drive, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Carman is best known for his hit song “Champion,” a song-story of a fight between Christ and Satan. He has produced other songs that hit the charts, including “Sunday’s on the Way,” “Lazarus Come Forth,” “Revival in the Land,” “Witches Invitation,” “This Blood” and “The Courtroom.”

“He is a big name,” said Living Waters Pastor Don Thomas. “It was really a small miracle to be able to get him at a church of our size, but it did happen. My wife was going to open for him in 1983 in Oklahoma. Working with some of the folks we knew that knew him, we were able to get him. We wanted to do this two or three years ago but we weren’t even in the ball park of being able to have someone of that significance come here.”

Described as part evangelist and part Vegas showman, Carman’s music is a combination of pop, comedy, Broadway, rap, country, rock and soul.

He has filled the largest stadiums the world over and holds the record for the largest Christian concert in Dallas with 71,132 in attendance at Texas Stadium; and 80,000 attended a concert in Charlotte, N.C.

Carman played the drums at 5, the guitar at 15 and he began singing at 16. After attending military school, he studied acting and played the club circuit in Atlantic City, N.J. He attended an Andrae Crouch concert in 1973 and was so moved that he became a Christian.

In 1990, Billboard Magazine recognized Carman’s influence in Christian music by naming him the first “Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year.”

He continues to face an ongoing battle with cancer, Thomas said.

The Christian Post reported he had undergone treatment, went into remission for four years before requiring surgery in May to remove a tumor. A Carman Facebook post earlier this month reported him to be cancer free again.

“This could be some of his last tours as I understand it,” Thomas said. “I know he is still fighting cancer. I will pick him at the airport this Saturday and get to talk to him more about that. We want to make sure that he knows, along with many others, we are praying for his healing. We want him to keep going and singing, I know I do; I’m a Carman fan.”

There is no charge to attend the concert and no offering will be taken, he said. For $100, people can buy a V.I.P. ticket that will allow them to sit on the front row and meet him backstage, he said. V.I.P. tickets can be reserved by calling 765-825-2287.